Ny Fashion Designer
Posts for January 2008
Eugenie Huang, designer of Deka Ray, has the sort of look about her that you'd think, when she told you she made jewelry, that she's just a fun New York gal of good taste and where-with-all. You would think that because there are a lot of young people like that in New York City (or, perhaps, in any city). Being young, pretty, and ambitious usually means you've some sort of thriving business going on, and that's perfectly fine. The aspect that's often missing, in a city where anyone can do anything, are the designers who treat their work as a craft, and who've dedicated their time to learn about it on a deeper (daresay, classical) level. When you see Huang's jewelry, or actually talk to her about her work, you realize that she is both the young ambitious designer who dresses well and knows a lot of people, and also someone who, if stripped of the superficial, would be genuinely intent on her craft.
Part of that difference comes from her educational background. With a B.S. in Architecture from M.I.T. and a Masters from Columbia, Huang has been trained to meditate on the relationship of spaces and materials and to create based on those findings. It's not as if, though, she'd been trained in Architecture simply to leave it for jewelry making, rather, it's been a childhood practice for her, and one that coincidently flourished when she pursued Architecture.
Here Huang talks to us about her work,
Aside from doing personal engagement ring commissions for friends, I generally shy away from precious stones because I believe more in design over high cost gems. I've been exploring using all sorts of different materials, more recently ship's rope twined with laser-cut lucite and wood, but decided to start my first series with the more traditional materials of oxidized silver and gold. I've gravitated towards the shapes of wings for years, and have produced a more stylized mix between machined fins and silhouetted bird wings. I wanted the forms to be somewhat familiar but not precisely real. something a bit otherworldly. I think of Deka Ray as being someone or something otherworldly landing in the woods of North Carolina [where I grew up] and gleaning ideas from this environment mixed with more futuristic notions about technology. Very much in line with the "future primitive" concept.
If you think of fashion as a craft and of yourself as a curator of these artistic manifestations, then a piece from Deka Ray would be treated as part of your collection. In other words, it would be stored carefully and worn well. Sometimes all it takes is a closer look to realize that some girls aren't just makin' jewelry.
If you haven't grown tired of the jumper phenomenon, may we suggest those by Mooka Kinney. These NYC gals whipped up a couple that were inspired by vintage swimsuits, the sort that you see in boutiques but never know just exactly how to pull off. Pair these with some Jil Sander sandals or some Frye boots, and you've got yourself an easy outfit. Rachel Antonoff and Alison Lewis are two pretty young things with a penchant for vintage. The pair keep it simple by designing with their favorite thrift store finds in mind, reimagining those special pieces with buttons and embroidery, silhouette alterations, or deadstock fabrics.
Maybe you haven't shaved your legs, maybe your planning some laying-in-the-grass time, or maybe you just feel like having some extra fabric floating as you stride. The maxi dress appears every season (sometimes abundantly so ) because the shape compliments many body types and many activities. Although this season, everyone's screaming about other trends and patterns, the maxi dress has definitely made more than one appearance. Here are our favorites, by Twinkle, Chris Han, Sue Stemp, and Yigal Azrouel.
Ashleigh Verrier, though young, and a relative newcomer... (her first show was in Spring 2007, when she won the UPS Delivering Fashion's Future award), has received support from some of the most established fashion companies. Her senior thesis collection was picked up by Saks, and now, for A/W 08, she's teamed up with Swarovksi, who will supply her with crystals for the Russian Imperialism inspired collection. Verrier is breaking the rules because, rather than simply associating with what's young and hip (which we would be easy, because she is rather young and hip), she's cultivating a label synonymous with luxury, aimed at a higher age demographic than that which she belongs to. In other words, she's working on cultivating a brand with staying-power.
More: Pre-fashion Week Studio Visit With Sylvia Heisel
More: Pre-fashion Week Studio Visit With Joanna Mastroianni
More: Pre-fashion Week Studio Visit With Sue Stemp
More: Pre-fashion Week Studio Visit With Chris Han
As disco mania sweeps through the nightlife destinations of New York's hippest drink swillers, the Sue Stemp S/S 08 collection provides the outfits for the cause. This collection, in all of it's 1970's boheme glory, looks like it will be a solution to the ninety degree heat/desire to wear something other than a Uniqlo t-shirt problem. Stemp, a social, fun gal of her own accord, recently showed us around her studio and gave us a peek at the inspiration behind her A/W 08 collection. Sure it's a new season, but we suspect to see her aesthetic shine through, as she draws upon pop-rebels like Serge Gainsbourg for her next round in '08.
NY Fashion designer - Winter Collection
Last week, we visited Sylvia Heisel at her garment district studio (immaculate!) to see her A/W 08 collection and catch up with her preparations for fashion week. Part of Heisel's collection is represented by classic silhouettes in new colors (where the other part is concept-driven), the deep reds in this section were the most striking. One fantastic hot pink frock, served as the perfect example of a 'what might this dress become' moment. Heisel's global sensibilities and mature taste make for an aesthetic that is highly marketable and appropriately modern.